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Modafinil modulates anterior cingulate function in chronic schizophrenia

  • Sean A. Spence (a1), Russell D. Green (a2), Iain D. Wilkinson (a3) and Mike D. Hunter (a3)
Abstract
Background

Schizophrenia is associated with widespread cognitive deficits that have an impact on social function. Modafinil promotes wakefulness and is reported to enhance cognition.

Aims

To study the acute effects of modafinil administration upon brain activity and cognitive performance in people with chronic schizophrenia.

Method

In a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design, 19 patients received either modafinil (100 mg) or placebo prior to undertaking a working memory task with functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Results

Seventeen patients completed the study and another underwent acute relapse 4 days post-drug. Modafinil administration was associated with significantly greater activation in the anterior cingulate cortex during the working memory task. The anterior cingulate cortex signal correlated with cognitive performance, although only a subset of patients exhibited ‘enhancement’.

Conclusions

Modafinil modulates anterior cingulate cortex function in chronic schizophrenia but its beneficial cognitive effects may be restricted to a subset of patients requiring further characterisation.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Sean A. Spence, Sheffield Cognition and Neuroimaging (SCANLab), Academic Clinical Psychiatry, Division of Genomic Medicine, University of Sheffield, The Longley Centre, Norwood Grange Drive, Sheffield S5 7JT, UK. Tel:+44(0) 114 22 61519; Fax:+44 (0) 114 22 61522; E-mail: s.a.spence@sheffield.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

This study was supported by an investigator-led award (to S.A.S.) from Cephalon (UK). M.D.H. is supported by the Wellcome Trust (UK).

Footnotes
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  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Modafinil modulates anterior cingulate function in chronic schizophrenia

  • Sean A. Spence (a1), Russell D. Green (a2), Iain D. Wilkinson (a3) and Mike D. Hunter (a3)
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